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Friday, March 27, 2009

WANTED FOR TREASON: U.S. CORPORATIONS!

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
- Thomas Jefferson -

"A corporation is an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."
- Ambrose Bierce -

"A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not yet sufficient capital to form a corporation."
- Howard Scott -

"Fascism should be more properly called corporatism, for it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- Benito Mussolini -

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong it's reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
- ABRAHAM LINCOLN, in a Nov. 21, 1864 letter to Col. William F. Elkins -



I laugh every time I hear modern day conservative Republicans declaring that they belong to "the party of Lincoln." They are ignorant fools. For Abraham Lincoln was a LIBERAL who believed in a strong Federal Government. And, as the quote above proves, he correctly foresaw the dangers of concentrated capital so I believe he would have fought the influence of today's corporations tooth and nail. In fact, evidence strongly suggests that were he alive today, Lincoln would be a liberal Democrat and would undoubtedly be derisively labeled by such short-sighted and far-right Republicans as John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Jim DeMint, Eric Cantor, and John Cornyn, as a "far left liberal extremist." This is because today's Republican Party has shifted so far right, and is so -ro-big business that its beliefs about the role of business versus that of government would put it into direct opposition to the beliefs of Thomas Jefferson AND Abraham Lincoln, two of our greatest and most visionary Presidents. Surely both are spinning in their graves at the speed of light, as is Republican Teddy Roosevelt, to see the unprecedented influence corporations now have over our government and society as well. They have effectively bought control of the government and are using it for their own ends.

This unfortunate rise in corporate power got a tremendoust boost in 1886, when the government bowed to pressure from the then-huge railroad industry in the infamous Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company Supreme Court decision. A clearly out-to-lunch (and bought out by the railroad) then-Chief Justice Morrison Rennick White prefaced the proceedings with a shocking statement that "the court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution which forbids a State to deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does." In one fell swoop, this very poor decision by the Supreme Court effectively gave the corporation the same rights as living persons. But this ill-fated and errant decision failed to define its responsibilities and so we have been plagued with corporate excesses to this day.

In the magnificently informative and entertaining 2003 Canadian documentary "The Corporation", this premise of the corporation being a living being is taken literally and examined closely on a number of levels. A comprehensive history of the corporation, legal decisions regarding it, and its behavioral aspects are all presented in a very revealing and thought-provoking manner. The conclusion: The corporation is a dangerous psycopath. It is anti-social, completely self-centered, callously disregards others' feelings, has no guilt, has a reckless penchant for ignoring the safety of others, and chronically lies to obtain profit. I would strongly recommend this film to everyone. A DVD of it can be bought relatively inexpensively on Amazon.com, and you also may be able to rent it, or find it at your public library. So please give it a view and even tell your friends about it. It is truly too good and too relevant to pass up.

Just Thursday night, David Shuster broke an infuriating story about corporations on his show "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" on MSNBC. It turns out President Obama has asked former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to head a new "Tax Code Review Panel" in an effort to close some dubious corporate tax loopholes. Why? It turns out that the corporations recently bailed out by us taxpayers, plus numerous others, have all been avoiding paying federal taxes for years by fraudulently listing their subsidiaries as being based out of the country in phony tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Andorra, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and even Singapore. It is estimated corporations have as much as $12 TRILLION squirreled away in these havens which keeps those funds safe from taxation. This has deprived our government, now deep in deficit, engaged in two costly wars, with a crumbling infrastructure, even bailing out these irresponsible banks and other corporations, and unable to provide health care for 47+ million (roughly 1 out of every 7) of its citizens, with an estimated $100 BILLION shortfall in revenue it could dearly use! These same corporations have employed well-paid and well-funded lobbyists to influence the abovementioned foreign governments to keep details of the tax havens secret and inaccessible. Consider this: Morgan Stanley lists an astounding 158 foreign subsidiaries; Citigroup an incredible 90 (in the Cayman Islands alone!), and Bank of America boasts a whopping 59. Unfortunately, that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as American corporations' foreign subsidiaries go. There are many, many, many others. Some are in fact legitimate, but the overwhelming majority are set up solely to keep from paying taxes to the American government. Yet they all rely on the American government to fund roads their products are transported on, a postal system to bring their mail, schools to educate their children and labor force, and defense to protect their investments overseas. These greedy corporations ask for very much, and offer to return very little. In fact, they are stealing from the very hand that feeds them!

In business practice, corporations are set up to shield their owners from individual loss or responsibility arising from unforseen market developments. If, for example, the corporation expends a large amount of capital to procure sproducts or materials and then something goes wrong resulting in the corporation's inability to pay for those materials, the corporation's owners are not held personally liable for the procured, but unpaid for, materials. In other words, the corporation and its officers can make money and have rights, but cannot be held responsible or incur personal cost. This avoidance of responsibility is wrong and can be (and is) abused. Not only that, but corporations often employ a one-sided, beneficial-mainly-to-them methodology in doing business. In the case of large insurance corporations, they cherry-pick who and who they will not cover. In health insurance, they basically dictate how treatment and medications are delivered, overruling physicians and dictating terms. They boot people out of hospitals after major surgery in many cases the very next day, and they dictate medication dosage. This is done for the profit of the corporation, not for the benefit of the patient. Pharmaceutical corporations routinely sell the exact same medications to Canada at prices far lower than those offered to the United States, even though our tax dollars underwrite up to 30% of their research and development costs! This too is done for their profit and not for the benefit of citizens living in the very same communities in which the corporation is based! In my logic, if you are classified as a living human being and are afforded the rights of a living human being, so too should you bear the responsibilities of a living human being. The Supreme Court was grievously wrong to grant living rights to corporations but to make them immune to responsibility. For all living beings have a responsibility to one another and must pay a price or be punished when injuriously deviating from said responsibility. Should a person engage in acts which damage others' property, deprive them of their rights, or cause injury or death to others, that person is justifiably and individually fined and/or punished. And so too must it be with the officers of corporations. As laws and legal decisions have many loopholes, so too must one be found to reverse that foolish, highly unjust, unfairly preferential, and dangerous 1886 Supreme Court decision.

Merriam Webster defines "treason" in one sense as "the betrayal of a trust: TREACHERY." I would suggest U.S. corporations' deliberate and deceitful actions in setting up fictitious foreign subsidiaries to deprive our government of needed funds fits that definition. In a time of war, with millions of people's basic needs in jeopardy or going unmet, with even our military underfunded and underequipped, I would say this corporate hoarding and tax evasion constitutes a direct threat to our government and its people and endangers our very security. For this reason, I propose that the officers and directors of these offending corporations be held personally liable and receive harsh punishment for tax evasion and treason, just as an individual would for tax evasion, or for stealing from the military in time of war. These people have been getting by scot-free with far too much for far too long, and their day of reckoning must come. NOW!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MEMORABLE QUOTES

I am still working on and gathering information on what I hope will be a significantly interesting piece on government-run health care systems. I apologize for the delay, but the subject is important enough to deserve all the accuracy it can get, so that particular post may be a while in coming. But it WILL be worth the wait! Meanwhile, I present you with a treasure trove of thoughtful, memorable quotes to mull over. Thank you for your patience.


"People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights."
- Indira Gandhi -

"The school is the last expenditure upon which Americans should be willing to economize."
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt -

"The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes."
- Aristotle -

"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wicked of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."
- John Maynard Keynes -

"When the rich think about the poor, they have poor ideas."
- Evita Peron -

"The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life."
- Teddy Roosevelt -

"We must confront the privileged elite who have destroyed a large part of the world."
- Hugo Chavez -

"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light."
- Helen Keller -

"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."
- Margaret Thatcher -

"Poverty is the worst form of violence."
- Mahatma Gandhi -

"Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle or impure butter. The audience that hissed yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance."
- William O. Douglas -

"We must stop thinking about the individual and start thinking about what is best for society."
- Hillary Rodham Clinton -

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."
- Harry S Truman -

"Ultimately, America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity of which our heritage of religious freedom inspired."
- Robert F. Kennedy -

"Politics is a profession, a serious, complicated and, in its true sense, a noble one."
- Dwight David Eisenhower -

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person."
- Mother Teresa -

"Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative."
- John Kenneth Galbraith -

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
- Barack Obama -

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."
- Teddy Roosevelt -

"Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off."
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt -

"Many people consider the things government does for them to be social progress but they regard the things government does for others as socialism."
- Earl Warren -

"The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself."
- John Kenneth Galbraith -

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

THINGS I FEEL NO NEED TO DO BEFORE I DIE

I've been away, but not loafing. I've been gathering (and continue to gather) info for an upcoming blog on the universal Canadian and European health care systems, in contrast to the pathetic, profit-for-pharmaceutical companies-and-insurance companies-first one we are currently suffering under. But meanwhile, here's a type of list I've seen going around on numerous other sites lately.

Things I feel NO need to do before I die are:

1. Become a member of an exclusive country club.
2. Meet Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh.
3. Work for a major multinational corporation.
4. Vote conservative Republican.
5. Golf.
6. Record a rap song.
7. Eat liver, broccoli, or brussels sprouts.
8. Climb a mountain.
9. Join an intolerant fundamentalist church.
10. Read "War and Peace."
11. EVER hear another George W. Bush or Dick Cheney speech!
12. Sit down and talk with Michele Bachmann.

I'm sure I'll think of more later, but for now, that's it. Back to my health care research-gathering task!

Monday, March 9, 2009

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME!

(THEN): "The fundamental business of the economy...is on a sound and prosperous basis."
- Former GOP President Herbert Hoover -
(NOW): " Our economy, I think, still - the fundamentals of our economy are strong."
- GOP Senator John McCain (AZ) -
------------
(THEN): "Every time the government is forced to act, we lose something in self-reliance, character, and initiative."
- Former GOP President Herbert Hoover -
(NOW): "Government can't fix this."
- GOP House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (OH) -
------------
(THEN): "Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body - the producers and consumers themselves."
- Former GOP President Herbert Hoover -
(NOW): "Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job."
- GOP Chair Michael Steele -
------------
(THEN): [On FDR] - "...amiable, pleasant, anxious to be of service, very badly informed, and of comparatively little vision."
- Former GOP President Herbert Hoover -
(NOW): [On Obama] - "he is the world's greatest salesman of socialism."
- GOP Senator Jim DeMint (SC) -
_____________________________________________

Just as during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the nation is once again in the grip of a baffling and worrisome severe economic downturn. Fear and unemployment are rising, consumer spending is tightening, and banks aren't lending. Once more, we have two differing views as to how to overcome this crisis: Pro-government progressives and most Democrats, and anti-government conservatives and most Republicans.

Progressives view government aid to shore up faltering banks and provide work programs as absolutely essential to jump-start the stalled economy and prevent widespread, unnecessary human deprivation and suffering. They, together with President Obama, have fashioned and are implementing a Stimulus Plan which they believe will do just that. It resembles Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal in certain respects. I believe it will successfully ease burdens much as did FDR's revolutionary new plan of yesteryear.

Conservatives oppose this plan. They wish to see minimal government involvement in the economy. They believe government is too large and too influential already, and their belief is that additional tax cuts for the wealthy and big business, coupled with further easing of government regulation over business, are the only actions that will expand the economy and create jobs. I disagree with that premise.

Republicans have long favored business needs and rights over individual, human ones. They continually try, through deregulation, to get government off the backs of business, even as business climbs all over the backs of ordinary citizens with ever-rising prices, frozen workers' wages, environmental contamination, and unsafe products. The conservative Republican business community has long believed that a minimally or self-regulated free market will solve its own problems and correct itself. This group also believes that lowered taxes on business and the rich will spur investment and economic growth as well as create jobs. These are positions they have advanced repeatedly over the years, but time and again they have been proven inadequate or downright wrong. Free market speculation brought on the stock market crash of 1929 which led to the Great Depression. Last summer, free market speculation robbed and strangled us with $4.00 per gallon gasoline. It has also led to skyrocketing pharmaceutical and health care costs. Deregulation enabled irresponsible bank mortgage lending and ridiculously high credit card interest rates, and brought about record foreclosures, bankruptcies, bank failures, and increased incidences of food poisoning and even death. Massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big business since 2001 have NOT created new industry or high paying jobs in this country as had been promised. Yet conservative Republicans continue to push for even more of this nonsense, even though it is exactly what got us into the current mess in the first place.

Conservative Republicans love to falsely claim that "the New Deal didn't work" or that it was really World War II, and not government New Deal work programs, which ended the Great Deperession. Like most claims made by right-wing GOP spokespersons these days, those are misleading distortions and not entirely true. World War II DID vastly increase employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but New Deal work programs like the WPA and CCC were major economic stimuli which helped get the economy moving again beforehand and eased the suffering of millions of Americans in the process. GDP rose slowly but steadily from mid-1933, when the economy had completely bottomed out and the first New Deal programs began, and continued until the recession of 1937-1938, which occurred when FDR heeded the cries of conservative deficit foes of both parties and and reduced government spending. But, with renewed stimulus from the second phase of the New Deal, GDP once more began climbing and never looked back after 1938. Of course, once war began to loom and American factories began pumping out armaments to China, Britain, and Russia, GDP was greatly accelerated, creating the conservative delusion that World War II was solely responsible for ending the Great Depression. Indeed, economic recovery had begun prior to World War II.

Consider this: At the pre-crash beginning of 1929, employment in America had peaked at roughly 31,500,000. Post-crash it dropped to about 30,000,000 and kept dropping for the next 3 years. At its lowest point in late 1932-early 1933, it had plunged to only 24,700,000. Then the New Deal kicked in. By 1937, employment had climbed back up to 31,000,000, a noticeable improvement. The 1937-1938 recession scaled the figure down to just over 29,000,000, before it rose again to 37,000,000 at the beginning of 1941. Conservatives often point to the recession of 1937-1938 as evidence of the New Deal's failure. but statistics do not bear this out. Below is a year-by-year listing of the percentage of the total work force unemployed from 1933-1943. It is comprehensive in that it includes those employed in New Deal work programs, which some studies omit.

1933 - 20.6%
1934 - 16.0%
1935 - 14.2%
1936 - 9.9%
1937 - 9.1%
1938 - 12.5%
1939 - 11.3%
1940 - 9.6%
1941 - 8.0%
1942 - 4.7%
1943 - 1.9%
(SOURCES: US Dept. of Commerce National Income and Product Accounts, Real GDP and GNP, and Consumer Price Index and Money Supply, 1800-2003; and Siley, Gene, "Recent Unemployment Estimates for the 1920s and 1930s, in the Journal of Economic History, June, 1983).

Those conservative Republicans who state that the New Deal didn't work or that government has never created a job are crazy. New Deal work programs helped two of my uncles put bread on their family's table and prevented my very own mother from starving. Also, they fail to notice our world's best postal system, our interstate highway system, many of our parks, bridges, schools, dams, public buildings, and even our space program are all government-created jobs. They also cannot deny the data posted above. No doubt, the economy REALLY started taking off as a result of our war production for World War II, but prior to that, the New Deal played a signifigant role in providing sorely needed ignition to jump-start a very stalled economy! AND, had Roosevelt REALLY gone full throttle with New Deal government spending, our economy may have very well sprung back without having had to resort to war production at all.

So too will it be with President Obama's Stimulus Plan. Our economy will definitely improve as a result of his and other progressives' sensible and timely action. But again, Republicans will try to keep the federal government from going full throttle, so once again, full recovery will be impeded and much slower than it should be. Once again, Republicans are being naysayers standing stubbornly in the way of something progressive and good for the public. Their inherent fear (see my May 31, 2008 blog: "American Conservatives' Paranoia") will freeze them in place and cause them to wrongly accuse the President and their opponents of socialism or communism and thereby try to scare the public away from new approaches they do not understand. This stodgy attitude cost Republicans dearly in the elections of 1934 and 1936, and so it will again, deservedly, in 2010 and 2012. These people just never learn and they are hopelessly out of touch with the majority of Americans. I guess it's true in this case: The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Monday, March 2, 2009

CPAC AND THE 4 HORSEMEN OF CALAMITY

"Men love ideas more than their lives. And the more preposterous the idea, the more eager they are to die for it. And to kill for it."
- Edward Abbey -

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest excuses in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
- John Kenneth Galbraith -

"A conservative is a man who believes nothing should be done for the first time."
- Alfred E. Wiggam -

"I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to victory on the Four Horsemen of Calamity - Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear."
- Margaret Chase Smith -

Perhaps it is a good thing the late moderate Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine did not live to see the era of ultra-far-right neocon Republicanism we now have today. For these hard core zealots have hijacked the party and now control it lock, stock, and barrel. They have destroyed all its relevance and credibility. She is surely spinning in her grave at the unconstitutional antics of the Bush/Cheney years and now that vicious extremists Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter have repectively become the de facto king and queen of that miserable party (with the impulsively irresponsible Sarah Palin as lady in waiting). For, ever since Chase Smith's death in 1995, the GOP has increasingly succumbed to extremism, just as it did when nominating Barry Goldwater for President in 1964 and subsequently losing that election in a landslide.

As evidenced by this past weekend's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) gathering of 9,000 hard core ultra-rightists, the lunatic fringe of the GOP is alive and thriving, much like a malignant tumor. Malevolent and determined to have all power for itself, the CPAC crowd is well on its way toward destroying its Republican Party host. Unfortunately for the GOP, there is no cure in sight.

Senator Chase Smith was an intelligent and civil woman of high principle. Had I been a voter or Senator in her day, I would have undoubtedly voted against her positions many times, but I would have cultivated and valued her friendship. I would have liked her and respected her greatly for her integrity and moderate views. She was one of the first critics of the notorious red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy, courageously rising up early to denounce the irresponsible tactics and largely unfounded allegations he made against many innocent Americans. These poor accused souls suffered tremendously for years due to his wild rants about them, and she stood up to the bullying and accusatory tactics which the GOP soon adopted due to McCarthy's influence. Her June 1, 1950 "Declaration of Conscience" from which the quote above was taken, outlined her aversion and opposition to the kind of attack-dog actions McCarthy used then and which the CPAC crowd employs today. For a very interesting and relevant read, Google Margaret Chase Smith and read her declaration. It will help you see the obvious parallels between the McCarthyites of yesteryear and the neocons of today.

Ahhhhhh, CPAC! A summit of the meanest, most fearful, ignorant, and intolerant people on earth. A Mecca of the misguided and misinformed. An entire weekend of practitioners and advocates of failed economic theory and disastrous foreign policy all venting to each other while whipping the four horses of calamity to an absolute frenzy among all in attendance. A place in which those who wish to avoid truth and reality can escape to revel in their own fantasy and delusion for a time. There was fat, old, slobby, insecure, big-mouthed blowhard King Rush Limbaugh, once more doing his best to get attention through outrageous and preposterous claims. He tried to portray the President as an advocate of fear because Obama had honestly reported the unhealthy state of the economy. In reality, Limbaugh was attempting to scare the public at large into believing that Obama was out to destroy our free enterprise market system. He characterized Obama's noble effort to more fairly level the economic playing field, by taxing the very rich more heavily to ensure they would pay a more balanced share, as "punishing achievement and punishing earners." You can always count on Limbaugh to appeal to people's selfishness and ignore basic facts. By Rush's twisted rationale, it was evidently perfectly ok for the rich and major corporations to "punish" tradespersons and regular workers alike by destroying their unions, cutting their wages and benefits, and shipping their jobs overseas, all of which helped make the very wealthy far, far, FAR richer than ever before! THAT kind of punishment sits perfectly well with Limbaugh, I guess, so long as the exorbitant wealth created by Bush's unfair tax cuts for the rich remain in place. Next, ol' blabbermouth stated that Obama's proposed budget is "spending wealth that has not yet been created." Of course, Limbaugh conveniently neglected to realize or mention that is exactly what his hero, George W. Bush, and his neocon Republican Congresses did from 2001-2006 by cutting taxes on the wealthy and then starting a very costly and illegally imperialistic war in Iraq. But I guess Limbaugh finds THAT kind of spending to be ok, since it isn't being wasted on job creation or programs for suffering common people. He characterized liberals as being "psychotic" even though the facts clearly show HIM to be the delusional one. He referred to his formative years as being better days for our country and bemoaned how liberals and Obama were going to ruin it all. Funny, though: In Limbaugh's "formative years" the country was being run by LIBERALS and MODERATES, NOT conservatives! Poor Rush even has delusional memories! I guess it takes a conservative about 40 or 50 years to recognize liberal genius. I keep forgetting how slow and dull-witted these conservatives are, and that they're not the sharpest knives in the drawer! Limbaugh was only slotted to speak for roughly 20 minutes, but, naturally, once he started beating his chest and heard the sound of fanatical audience applause, he selfishly monopolized the podium for well over an hour. Amid frenzied cheers and unified, deafening chants of "USA! USA! USA!", Rush just couldn't give it up. It was a scene reminiscent of the 1936 Nuremberg Rally. Very scary!

Queen Ann Coulter was her usual cruel, snobby, and sarcastic self, ridiculing liberals, Obama, Democrats, and the mythical liberal news media in her typically low-brow, insulting manner. Other moronic liars - I mean, speakers - included South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint (Obama is "the world's best salesman of socialism"), Mike Huckabee ("the Union of American Socialist Republics is being born"), the ever-regressive Mitch McConnell, and Michele Bachmann, who always thinks and speaks like a deer caught in headlights and will soon require antifungal spray for her mouth, due to her foot always being firmly stuck in it. These people are hopeless.

Conservative Republicans Bush, Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld used fear to lie us into illegal and imperialistic war in Iraq, stripping us of constitutional rights and instituting kidnapping and torture as acceptable practices along the way. Limbaugh, Coulter, Romney, DeMint, Huckabee and all the rest of the CPAC crowd are now trying to sabotage Obama's Stimulus Plan with fear of socialism. There's your FEAR. All deny that THEIR type of economic theory caused our economic downturn and has failed time after time, in the 1920s, the 1980s, and during the Bush regime. Yet they are pushing for more of the same. There's your stubborn IGNORANCE. They ridicule and hate liberals and gays, and view lower-class whites, minorities, and those from other cultures with suspicion and distrust. There's your BIGOTRY. They constantly lie about political opponents and deliberately distort what their opponents say to turn the public against them and to reinforce their own misconceived notions. There's your SMEAR, which rhey employ all the time.

Margaret Chase Smith was very visionary and wise to recognize these types of threats to our democracy way back in 1950. She would be justifiably and profoundly horrified to see that a new and more militant form of McCarthyism has resurfaced via CPAC 59 years later to capture and control her party today. Her dreaded Four Horsemen of Calamity are galloping her beloved Republican Party right off the political cliff!